Returning Officers Communications, Candidate Briefings, Warnings & Police Complaints - 2015 General Election

Joel M Benjamin made this Freedom of Information request to Torbay Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Torbay Borough Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Joel M Benjamin

Dear Torbay Borough Council,

The following information is sought in relation to communications, briefings, warnings and complaints issued by council Returning Officer & associated staff to prospective MP candidates, political parties and police in the lead up to, and conduct of, and subsequent enquiries into, the 2015 General Election.

FOIA Questions:

1) Were all GE2015 MP candidates issued with written guidelines including election procedures and spending rules, in line with Electoral Commission guidance? (see below for details)
2) Please provide copies of GE2015 briefing sheets and written guidance provided by the Returning Officer (RO) or Acting Returning Officer (ARO) to prospective MPs.
3) What procedures and processes did the RO or ARO have in place to identify and manage issues threatening the legitimacy of the electoral process relating to MPs expenses? How were they implemented?
4) What complaints were lodged with the RO and ARO regarding electoral integrity and spending issues for GE2015?
5) What documented action did the RO or ARO take to address these complaints?
6) What formal or informal warnings were issued to candidates or political parties?
7) What complaints were referred to local police?


Yours faithfully,

Joel M Benjamin

Freedom of Information, Torbay Borough Council

Dear Mr Joel


Thank you for your enquiry received on 7 June 2016 in which you have
requested information about the 2015 General Election.


The Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not list any person appointed
under the Representation of the People Act 1983. It follows that the
Electoral Registration Officer, Returning Officer or any other person
appointed under the Representation of the People Act 1983 are not subject
to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Any duties undertaken
by these individuals are done so in a personal capacity and not on behalf
of the Council.


Notwithstanding, that there is no statutory obligation to provide this
information, I have passed your request to our Electoral Services
Department for their consideration.


Yours sincerely



Vicky Wills

Information Compliance Advisor

Torbay Council


Mail: Information Compliance, Torbay Council, Town Hall, Castle Circus,
Torquay, TQ1 3DR


The Information Compliance Team will aim to acknowledge correspondence
within 3 working days unless a restriction is in place.


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